Medical seminars: a new paradigm for SOF counterinsurgency medical programs

J Spec Oper Med. 2010 Winter;10(1):16-22.


Medical programs are valuable tools when they properly align with operational objectives. In counterinsurgency operations, the medical program should promote the capacity of the host nation government and lead to greater self-sufficiency. The Medical Civic Action Program (MEDCAP) often fails to fully integrate host nation providers and officials which may undermine local medical infrastructure and rarely provides sustainable improvement. The Medical Seminar (MEDSEM) was developed during Operation Enduring Freedom- Philippines to address the shortcomings of the traditional MEDCAP. The MEDSEM greatly enhanced the MEDCAP by adding education to the venue, thereby promoting self reliance and improving the sustainability of medical interventions. Furthermore, the MEDSEM forged relationships and promoted interoperability through collaboration between local medical providers, governmental leaders, host nation forces, and U.S. Special Operations Forces.

MeSH terms

  • Allied Health Occupations / education*
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Curriculum*
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Military Medicine*
  • Military Personnel*
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation*
  • United States